House of Suns

{5/5} “In the long run, the best strategy for cultural longevity was either to sit tight in a single system, or become like the Lines, entirely unshackled from planetary life. Expansionism worked for a while, but was ultimately futile. Not that that stopped new emergents from trying, even when they had six million years of sobering history to mull over.”

Campion and Purslane are on their way to the reunion, the one that’s held by the Gentian Line every 200 000 years. But they’ve dilly dallied a bit too much and they’re going to be late. Being late is frowned on. An ongoing relationship between members of the Line is frowned on even more. But Campion and Purslane aren’t your average Gentians. Before they arrive at the reunion world they receive a shocking emergency warning: someone has attacked the reunion world. Despite the explicit warning to stay away, they of course go to the reunion world to investigate and search for survivors.

House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds was published in 2008. When I discovered that this novel takes place in the same universe as the story “Thousandth Night” (in One Million A.D.) I knew it was the next Reynolds book I wanted to read.

The ending was a little bit unsatisfying, because some aspects were left unresolved — but it’s still a great book. If you like the books of Arthur C. Clarke and Vernor Vinge, you’ll like this one.

The story takes place in the far future and deals with galaxy-spanning events. It’s about clones, machine people, and a shocking secret millions of years old.

At the beginning of each section there’s a chapter about Abigail Gentian as a child. When she grew up she made 999 clones of herself — she and the clones are the Gentian Line.

I’ve also read Reynolds’s Revelation Space and look forward to reading more of his books.

This entry was posted on Monday, May 20th, 2013 at 9:28 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply